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Rare restored NZ WWI footage shared with New Zealanders

Newly restored footage of New Zealanders during the First World War is now free for people to view – much as it would have been seen 100 years ago.

The material appears in For King & Country: New Zealand’s First World War on Film,an hour-long programme created by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision – the New Zealand Archive of Film, Television and Sound.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision restored and compiled the hour-long programme from 37 pieces of original film, shot by both government correspondents and home movie makers.

“Restoring and digitising this footage means that these films are looking better than ever before, ready to share with generations of New Zealanders into the future,” says Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision CE Rebecca Elvy.

Ngā Taonga archivists worked with with archives in Europe, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom to aquire some of the footage.

“Bringing this footage home is extraordinarily important, and we want to make sure it’s easy for people to see,” says Rebecca Elvy.

For King & Country is available for communities, schools and organisations to borrow and screen, at no cost, for the duration of the country’s WW100 commemorations – until 2019.

For King & Country gives people a glimpse of life through the eyes of the New Zealand men and women who lived through World War One. Captured by the film makers, correspondents and home movie makers of the time, these are the films that people would have flocked to see at local cinemas.”

The local cinema experience during World War One relied on a narrator and musicians to explain and accompany the silent films. For King & Country captures this spirit, with narration in both English and Te Reo Māori, and music by Iain Gordon of Fat Freddy’s Drop.

For King & Country moves between footage from abroad and here at home. It brings together myriad perspectives of New Zealand’s World War One experience, from pre-war everyday life to one of the few surviving films showing conditions at Gallipoli – as well as the New Zealand Divisional Rugby Team playing France in 1918.

For King & Country: New Zealand’s First World War on Film was made possible with a grant from the Lottery World War One Commemorations, Environment and Heritage Committee.

Organisations or schools wanting to borrow a DVD or DCP (digital cinema projection) of For King & Country should contact:
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

For more information on the programme and content, visit:


Updated on 22nd April 2016